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Thursday, February 21 , 2019, 10:36 pm | Fair 46º

 
 
 
 
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Salute to Teachers: Lompoc High School’s Francisco Diaz Real Honored as Distinguished Mentor

[Noozhawk’s note: Final in a series on the teachers who will be honored Nov. 14 at A Salute to Teachers 2015, presented by Cox and the Santa Barbara County Education Office. Click here for a complete series index.]

Francisco Diaz Real is an integral part of the Lompoc High School Math Department, and his willingness to coach younger teachers has earned him an award as a distinguished mentor from the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

Diaz is one of three teachers — Clanci Chiu of the county Education Office and Janis Spracher of Monte Vista School being the others — chosen for the award, which highlights and recognizes exceptional instruction, leadership and mentorship. Each mentor is nominated by an administrator, mentee or colleague.

                             |  Salute to Teachers 2015 |  Complete Series Index  |

All of the honorees will be recognized at the Salute to Teachers gala Nov. 14 at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara. The three Distinguished Mentors, three Distinguished New Educators and the 2016 Santa Barbara County Teacher of the Year will also be recognized at the event.

Lompoc High School math teacher Francisco Diaz Real has been a committed mentor for newer teachers. “I would not have survived my first year without his support,” one of his mentees says. “This year I am thriving because of the foundation he gave me.” (Santa Barbara County Education Office photo)
Lompoc High School math teacher Francisco Diaz Real has been a committed mentor for newer teachers. “I would not have survived my first year without his support,” one of his mentees says. “This year I am thriving because of the foundation he gave me.” (Santa Barbara County Education Office photo)

Presented by Cox and the county Education Office, A Salute to Teachers 2015 is co-sponsored by Anthem Blue CrossFielding Graduate UniversityMontecito Bank & TrustNoozhawk and Village Properties.

Diaz has been in education since 2005, and worked with elementary students as an instructional-bilingual assistant at Hapgood Elementary School in Lompoc, later working with middle school students and tutoring in math.

Originally from Jalisco, Mexico, he was raised in Santa Barbara and Lompoc, and he and his wife, Leticia, have two children.

Diaz trained as an architect, and worked in an architecture office for seven years before changing careers to become an educator.

While he was in school earning his bachelor’s degree in sociology at Brandman University, Diaz began teaching math at Lompoc High in 2008, and earned a teaching credential the next year.

Diaz was nominated for the award by his mentee, who is in the first two years of teaching and said Diaz supports every new hire the school brings in.

“He doesn’t mind me popping in to ask questions before school, after school, or even between periods,” the mentee said.

Diaz dedicated more than 100 hours over the summer to revamp Lompoc High’s Geometry and Algebra 2 courses to incorporate Common Core standards and activities.

“We have an amazing team in our mathematics department, but (Diaz) is the first person I go to with any question,” he mentee said. “I would not have survived my first year without his support.

“This year I am thriving because of the foundation he gave me.”

                             |  Salute to Teachers 2015 |  Complete Series Index  |

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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